Suffering is real.  But how much of it is really necessary?…

Now, before the victim within each of us cries out in protest that no one chooses to suffer, let me explain where I’m going with this.

Pain is inevitable.  Physical, emotional, mental and spiritual pain exist, and cannot be avoided if we choose to truly live.  It hurts; such is the definition of pain, after all.  But suffering is something else entirely…

Suffering is the mental, emotional and spiritual anguish arising from experiencing (and focusing on) that pain.  In some cases suffering is as inevitable as the pain that spawns it, if only because the pain is overwhelming and all-consuming for a time.  At other times, it becomes more of a choice.

We can, with discipline and intention, choose to focus on something else, and by doing so, reduce or eliminate that suffering for a time.  As someone with a chronic pain condition, I am not tossing out mere theoreticals here, but rather offering a perspective borne of my own experience.

We can work at something that occupies our mind.  We can be of service to others.  We can engage in hobbies or crafts that we enjoy.  We can immerse ourselves in nature, where beauty and peace run deep.  All of these options can ease our anguish, and so relieve our suffering.  At least for a time, anyway.

Pain is inevitable, but sometimes suffering is not…


Share Your Opinion

  1. Sha'Tara

    Great little article that says much. Below your words, there’s a quote by the Dalai Lama about compassion. For me, that’s how to deal with suffering, pain, loss, angst, or attempts by my brain to pull me into paranoia. The truly compassionate being, because always other-centered, experiences suffering in a redemptive sense. This may make no sense to many who are now suffering chronic pain with no end in sight, but I too know all about debilitating, chronic pain (from before my NDE and miraculous healing intervention in 1979) and have had “my moments” after that date when I failed to behave, and I know that when we are focused on the pain and problems of “others” ours dims in direct proportion to our other-involvement, whether direct or vicarious.

    1. cougarhawk8 Post author

      There’s a quote from the Dalai Lama? Where? (Damn! I cannot figure out this site yet! Lol!)

      But I agree with you whole-heartedly. Service to, and focus on others is the best way I’ve found to escape my own suffering. Compassion is blessed gift for giver and receiver both. 😀

    1. cougarhawk8 Post author

      I’m glad it resonated with you, and I wish I could help with the reblog. Truly! 🙂 But I am new here, and haven’t even figured out how to “like” posts yet. Perhaps you could just copy/paste?

      I wish you much peace today, Elizabeth! 😀